Matthew Lekushoff |


Stock markets around the world continue to find their stride with most trading higher than their levels of two weeks ago. However, as can be expected in these situations, securities with low correlations to global stock markets were out of favour. Therefore, gold and Canadian Real Estate Investment Trusts (REITs) have been trading lower.

Both these securities bucked the trend last year when markets were aggressively falling. In particular, gold enjoyed an increase of almost 10 per cent.


I've had a good few weeks of reading, which means I've found some great articles to share. As always, don't hesitate to reach out with your interests and recommendations!
In Defense of a Liberal Education   by Fareed Zakaria: There has been a push in recent years for students to go into science, technology, engineering or math (STEM), mostly because these fields offer higher pay and are experiencing job growth. Fareed Zakaria wrote this book to remind people that a  liberal education   is worthwhile too. He believes that someone with a broad area of knowledge and transferable skills can add value to a company and society in ways a narrowly focused education might not.
Although the book didn't have as many insights as I had hoped, I did appreciate his thoughts on the virtues of a liberal education. To Zakaria, this type of education teaches someone how to write, and to consequently develop critical thinking skills; how to speak; and how to learn. In today's era of sound bites, social media, and "fake news," attaining greater proficiency in these areas seems like a good thing to me.
Why and How Capitalism Needs to be Reformed   by Ray Dalio: In this essay, Ray Dalio discusses income inequality, the diminished equality of opportunity in past decades, and the state of capitalism in America. Although the U.S. suffers from higher income inequality than most developed nations, his thoughts are worth considering elsewhere as well.  
I'd also recommend watching Dalio's video on  How the Economic Machine Works . It's a great economic summary and adds context to the essay itself.
How to maximize your mental performance with Matthew Syed   by the Beyond Victory Podcast: An interesting conversation with former Formula 1 champion Nico Rosberg and author Matthew Syed on marginal gains and the mental side of success.
Everything I Knew About Reading was Wrong :   Most readers of non-fiction read one book at a time, start at the beginning and continue to the end. This article suggests that this model is sub-optimal and offers an alternative strategy.
Expiring vs. Long-Term Knowledge   by Morgan Housel: "Expiring knowledge catches more attention than it should, for two reasons. One, there's a lot of it, eager to buzz our short attention spans. Two, we chase it down, anxious to squeeze out insight before it loses relevance. Long-term knowledge is harder to notice because it's buried in books rather than blasted in headlines. But its benefit is huge. It's not just that long-term knowledge rarely expires, letting you accumulate it over time. It's that it compounds over time."
Blackstone's Byron Wien Discusses Lessons Learned in His First 80 Years Sage advice from someone who has seen a lot in his eight decades.
China's "gifts" to frontier   by Adam Kutas: This short article discusses how China's development has lowered the price of key technologies, such as, smartphones and electric cars. This has been a "gift" for  Frontier Markets   (less developed countries than Emerging Markets), as it reduces the time and cost of modernizing their economies.
Trends and Ideas (The Magic Money Tree)   by Raymond James: Modern Monetary Theory (MMT) is an economic theory that has gained traction within the progressive left in the U.S. This report by Raymond James' Larbi Moumni nicely summarizes the theory and, if implemented, how it could affect the economy and your portfolio.
Mountains and Molehills: Achievements and Distractions on the Road to Decarbonization   by J.P. Morgan Private Bank: A detailed read on the prospects of further decarbonization in the U.S. and other areas of the world. The report makes it clear that unless a game-changing technology is unexpectedly developed, the targets of aggressive plans, such as the Green New Deal,  are virtually impossible to get near, never mind achieve. 

It's important to note that Vaclav Smil , one of the most respected energy experts ( and one of Bill Gates' favourite authors ) is the technical advisor of this report.
When Hegemons Fade   by Bill O'Grady:  This report from Confluence looks at the U.K.'s historical decline amidst Brexit.
Visualizing Corruption Around the World   by Visual Capitalist: It's no coincidence that high levels of corruption lead to a lack of economic prosperity.


"I think that most capitalists don't know how to divide the economic pie well and most socialists don't know how to grow it well, yet we are now at a juncture in which either a) people of different ideological inclinations will work together to skillfully re-engineer the system so that the pie is both divided and grown well or b) we will have great conflict and some form of revolution that will hurt most everyone and will shrink the pie." 
- Ray Dalio
"The point, then, isn't that you should watch less CNBC and read more Ben Graham. It's that if you read more Ben Graham you'll have an easier time understanding what you should or shouldn't pay attention to on CNBC. This applies to most fields."
- Morgan Housel
"We are drowning in information, while starving for wisdom. The world henceforth will be run by synthesizers, people able to put together the right information at the right time, think critically about it, and make important choices wisely."
- E.O. Wilson

  • After 11 years without a major tournament win, Tiger Woods won the Masters on Sunday.
  • But, the following day brought less happy news this week, as people across the globe watched in horror as Paris' iconic Notre-Dame Cathedral caught fire on Monday. The event turned into an interesting study on the emotional and cultural significance of architecture in our cities and society. The CBC breaks down what's been lost, what's been saved and where there's hope.

Matthew Lekushoff

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